Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infects numerous wild and domestic feline species and is closely related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Species-specific strains of FIV have been described for domestic cat (Felis catus), puma (Puma concolor), lion (Panthera leo), leopard (Panthera pardus), and Pallas' cat (Otocolobus manul). Here, we employ a three-antigen Western blot screening (domestic cat, puma, and lion FIV antigens) and PCR analysis to survey worldwide prevalence, distribution, and genomic differentiation of FIV based on 3,055 specimens from 35 Felidae and 3 Hyaenidae species. Although FIV infects a wide variety of host species, it is confirmed to be endemic in free-ranging populations of nine Felidae and one Hyaenidae species. These include the large African carnivores (lion, leopard, cheetah, and spotted hyena), where FIV is widely distributed in multiple populations; most of the South American felids (puma, jaguar, ocelot, margay, Geoffrey's cat, and tigrina), which maintain a lower FIV-positive level throughout their range; and two Asian species, the Pallas' cat, which has a species-specific strain of FIV, and the leopard cat, which has a domestic cat FIV strain in one population. Phylogenetic analysis of FIV proviral sequence demonstrates that most species for which FIV is endemic harbor monophyletic, genetically distinct species-specific FIV strains, suggesting that FIV transfer between cat species has occurred in the past but is quite infrequent today.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science